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VOL. 7 | NO. 37 | Saturday, September 6, 2014

Daily Digest

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Whole Foods Pulls Building Permit

Whole Foods is moving forward with construction of its new store in Germantown. The company pulled a $6.6 million building permit for the store at Poplar Avenue and Pete Mitchell Road in Germantown.

Whole Foods and local development firm Cypress Realty Holdings Co., in conjunction with Ford Jarratt Realty & Development Co., last year submitted plans to the city of Germantown to develop the 41,000-square-foot, freestanding Whole Foods store.

The grocery chain, founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, has been active in the Memphis area. In addition to the planned Germantown store, the specialty grocer opened a $3.1 million expansion of its East Memphis location.

Fire Museum Unveils ‘Heroes’ Exhibit

The Fire Museum of Memphis has unveiled a new $350,000 exhibit called “Honoring Our Heroes.”

It’s been stored for the past few months at the Urban Search and Rescue Warehouse at 4381 O.K. Robertson Road, and it’s scheduled for a grand opening Sept. 11.

The exhibit depicts the faces of a little more than 400 first responders killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, painted on four-inch tiles in the shape of an American flag. The planning and design firm Design 500 created the area in the museum surrounding the exhibit, which also honors the 67 members of Tennessee Task Force One deployed to the Pentagon in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

$10 Fee Lifted on Beale Street

If you want to go to Beale Street in the wee hours of Sunday morning, you’ll no longer have to pay a $10 fee.

Downtown Memphis Commission president Paul Morris said the temporary charge instituted in August following several dangerous incidents in the entertainment district has been lifted, but a tweaked version could reappear next year.

Morris said the fee, which was charged after midnight on Saturdays, worked as intended, thinning the large, sometimes unmanageable crowds that had built up in the district on Saturday nights in August.

“Both nights I was there, Beale Street wasn’t nearly as crowded as it had been but there were still a lot of people there,” said Morris.

The fee was used to pay for security patrols that the DMC, which is acting as temporary manager of the entertainment district, instituted on and around Beale Street during daylight and off-peak hours.

In the early morning hours of Aug. 10, a man was beaten unconscious on the street and laid there for some time while revelers took videos and pictures, which went viral once they hit social media networks. The weekend before that incident, Morris said, a “stampede” broke out on the street.

“Most people who come to Beale Street are having fun, but there are a few who come looking for trouble,” said Morris.

He said an alternate version of the fee, this time with a possible ticket or voucher patrons could use to get into a club or buy a drink, could return next year.

Comprehensive Pharmacy Services Names Hughes Head of Development

Memphis-based Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, the nation's largest pharmacy services provider, has announced the appointment of Gentry Hughes as executive vice president, development.

Hughes will be responsible for leading the company's national and regional accounts and channel relationships. Hughes is a health care industry veteran, and is joining CPS after a 15-year career at GE Healthcare, where he spent the last five years as head of the company's U.S. Clinical System Sales and Marketing Division. He's also held leadership positions at Symphony Health Services, Harlan Laboratories and Dynavox. He attended the University of Kentucky and completed his graduate studies at Marquette University.

Memphis Soccer Player Up for CLASS Award

Memphis senior midfielder Kylie Davis was named one of 30 women's soccer student-athletes who were selected as a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award.

Davis, a Preseason All-American Athletic Conference selection, is the third women's soccer student-athlete in program history who has been named a candidate for the award. In 2011, defender Lizzy Simonin became the first Memphis Lady Tiger to win the award.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 players will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male and one female who best exemplify excellence in community, classroom, character and competition.

Services Firms Expand at Record-High Pace

U.S. services firms expanded in August at the fastest pace on record.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its services index rose to 59.6 last month from 58.7 in July. The August figure is the highest recorded since the measure was introduced in January 2008. Fifteen industries reported growth last month. Only mining and arts, entertainment and recreation contracted in August.

Hiring grew at services firms for a sixth straight month. Their export orders grew for a fifth straight month but at a slower pace than in July.

Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said the report suggests that economic growth remains healthy in the current July-September quarter after registering a robust 4.2 percent annual pace from April through June.

Delta Resuming Cancun Service in December

Delta Airlines will resume nonstop service between Memphis International Airport and Cancun International Airport in December.

The flights will be offered on Saturdays starting Dec. 20. The initial flights will run through Jan. 10, 2015, and will then run Feb. 14 to Aug. 15.

The flights will depart Memphis International at 12:55 p.m. and arrive in Cancun at 4 p.m. On the return leg, they’ll depart Cancun at 4:55 p.m. and arrive in Memphis at 8 p.m.

Travelers can book the new flights at www.delta.com.

Delta is still the dominant carrier at Memphis International despite cutting dozens of flights after the airline announced the airport would no longer serve as a Delta hub.

Magazine Honors Pugh’s for Spin-Off

Floral Management magazine, the official publication of the Society of American Florists, has spotlighted Memphis-based Pugh’s Flowers for its development of a spin-off venture, Lickety Split Couriers.

Lickety Split, now in its fifth year, originally was developed as Pugh’s Express to take advantage of Pugh’s floral delivery service experience and its investment in trucks and drivers. It eventually was rebranded and spun off as Lickety Split.

Lickety Split drivers are full-time employees with company benefits and workers’ compensation, and all the vehicles are company-owned and insured, according to Pugh’s president Tim Pugh.

Floral Management magazine singled out Pugh’s as an innovative marketing example for other florists.

UTHSC Professor to Chair NIH Study Section

Robert C. Klesges, professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is the new chair of the Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health.

Members of the study section, which reviews grant applications and clinical, community and population research studies, are chosen based on their competence and achievement in their chosen specialty. They are selected for research accomplishments, publication in scientific journals, history of NIH funding and honors.

As chair of the study section, Klesges will play a key role in assuring the quality of the NIH peer-review process for grants that total hundreds of millions of dollars annually and involve large-scale community intervention efforts.

According to Klesges, NIH study sections “have the responsibility for shaping the science, not for things you’ll be reading in journals today, but for the things you’ll be reading in journals five or six years from now.”

His term as chair commences with a meeting in October and will end June 30, 2016.

Memphis Women’s Basketball Holding Fastbreak Picnic

The Fastbreak Club, the official booster club of the Memphis women’s basketball team, will host a fall picnic for its members Sunday, Sept. 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame Building.

Attendees are asked to RSVP to Donna LaRiviere at dlarivir@memphis.edu . Food and beverages for the picnic will be provided, but donations to the program are appreciated. Fastbreak Club members are encouraged to bring a friend to meet the 2014-2015 women’s basketball team.

Fastbreak Club memberships and women’s basketball season tickets can all be purchased online at www.gotigersgo.com. Tickets are also available by calling the Memphis ticket office at 678-2331.

Federal Judge Rules Against TennCare

The state's expanded Medicaid program must hold hearings for people who have waited months to learn whether they qualify for coverage because of delays in processing applications, a federal judge has ruled.

The Tennessean reports U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell made the ruling last week on the lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Tennessee Justice Center and the National Health Law Program.

The judge also granted class-action status to the lawsuit, meaning possibly thousands of Tennesseans could also become plaintiffs in the case.

The lawsuit accused the state of not providing in-person assistance and forcing applicants to apply for TennCare through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace website, which the lawsuit says was not designed for that purpose.

The lawsuit also accused the state of failing to let people know within 45 days if they're eligible for Medicaid and failing to provide a hearing if there's a delay in the eligibility decision.

The judge specifically addressed that issue by stopping TennCare from refusing to provide hearings within 45 days after one is requested about a delayed determination.

People requesting such a hearing must prove they have gone 45 days without learning the outcome of their application when eligibility is based on income or 90 days when it is based on disability. The injunction became effective immediately.

Haslam, Legislative Speakers Call Education Summit

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey are convening a summit in Nashville to discuss education changes in Tennessee.

The Sept. 18 event titled "Progress of the Past, Present and Future" will involve elected officials and representatives from 24 organizations focusing on K-12 and higher education and business leaders.

Haslam said the meeting is meant to review the ongoing education overhaul in Tennessee and plan for the future.

Some of those changes, like the Common Core education standards and related testing requirements, have received criticism from both tea party groups and teachers unions and became election fodder in legislative primaries earlier this month.

Law Firm Inks Lease at Overton Square

Overton Square has landed its first professional services tenant.

Memphis attorney William T. Maxwell Jr. is forming a new residential real estate closing company and commercial services firm and has signed a 2,500-square-foot lease at 51 N. Cooper St. in Overton Square.

Maxwell is a longtime Memphis real estate and closing attorney who represented the Overton Square Merchants Association during the mid-1980s and is familiar with the history and importance of the square as a Memphis landmark.

"I am a Midtowner at heart and being in the Parkways gives me excellent proximity to most of my clients,” Maxwell said in a statement. “Also, there is a connection to Overton Square from a community aspect.”

Report: Cost to Raise Child in Memphis Tops $208,000

Memphis is one of the least expensive cities in which to raise a child.

That’s according to the personal finance website NerdWallet, which looked at the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 in 288 major cities. In Memphis, the site found, it costs a little more than $208,000 on average – compared to, on the high end of the scale, $540,514 to raise a child in New York City.

To arrive at those numbers, NerdWallet looked at the national average from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and adjusted it for each city’s cost of living.

Schweinehaus Opens in Overton Square

Schweinehaus is now open in Overton Square.

The new eatery, at 2110 Madison Ave., is a German-themed restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Paulette’s.

Among its features are servers wearing traditional German garb and handmade wood tables of the kind found in many German beer halls.

Grizzlies Waive Guard Jamaal Franklin

Shooting guard Jamaal Franklin, a second-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, never cracked the Grizzlies’ rotation as a rookie and won’t get a chance to change that this season.

The Grizzlies waived Franklin, 23, who averaged 1.9 points while playing in just 21 regular-season games for the Grizzlies. Franklin, drafted out of San Diego State, spent much of last season playing in the NBA Development League and did not shoot well in recent NBA summer league action.

Memphis Running Back Makes AAC Honor Roll

University of Memphis freshman Jarvis Cooper, who rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a 63-0 shutout of Austin Peay State University, was one of five players selected for the American Athletic Conference’s Weekly Honor Roll.

In addition to naming offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, the conference honors five additional players for their performances each week. Cooper began the fourth quarter with an 11-yard run and averaged 12.6 yards on eight carries. He had a long run of 37 yards.

The West Memphis native became the 11th University of Memphis player to rush for 100 yards in a game as a freshman.

He also became the fourth Tiger freshman to rush for 100 yards in the first game of a career, following former Tigers coach Larry Porter in 1990, Marcus “Doc” Holiday in 1991 and DeAngelo Williams in 2002.

FedEx Ground Planning Memphis Hub Expansion

FedEx Ground is planning a $3.3 million expansion and upgrade of its South Memphis facility, according to a news report.

This week, FedEx Ground pulled a building permit for its hub at 555 Compress Drive, according to The Commercial Appeal. The permit calls for a 10,000-square-foot expansion of its city van haul facility and a 2,343-square-foot office expansion, according to the report.

The improvements are part of FedEx's larger investment in FedEx Ground, which has seen steady gains due to increased e-commerce sales.

Last week, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a group of former FedEx drivers could proceed with lawsuits alleging they are owed unpaid wages and benefits under state and federal labor laws. FedEx said it would appeal the ruling.

Saint Francis Bartlett CEO Honored as Rising Star

Jeremy Clark, chief executive officer of Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, has been named to the Becker's Hospital Review 2014 list of "Rising Stars: 25 Healthcare Leaders Under 40."

This list recognizes men and women who have demonstrated excellence in their health care organizations and professional lives before turning 40. The Becker's Hospital Review editorial team selected leaders based on peer nominations and editorial research.

Clark has served as the chief executive officer at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett for the past two years. During his tenure, the hospital has grown its admissions, surgical volume and emergency department visits through the development of new services, including a STEMI heart attack care program, robotic surgery program and interventional pain management center.

Prior to his arrival at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, Clark’s experience included serving as vice president and chief of staff for Tenet Healthcare, one of the largest health care systems in the nation.

Pyro’s Fire Fresh Pizza Cooking Up Third Location

Pyro's Fire Fresh Pizza is moving forward with a new location in Cordova.

Pyro’s has pulled a $295,000 building permit for a 3,200-square-foot restaurant at 2286 N. Germantown Parkway.

The new location will be Pyro’s third restaurant in Memphis. The local chain, owned by Kirk Cotham and Chad Foreman, has locations at 2035 Union Ave. and 1199 Ridgeway Road.

Redbirds Season to Open With Cardinals Exhibition

The Memphis Redbirds will open the 2015 season at AutoZone Park with an April 3 exhibition game versus the St. Louis Cardinals.

Memphis kicks off its regular season at home April 9 by welcoming the Iowa Cubs (Triple-A Cubs) and Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A Royals) during an eight-game homestand.

The 2015 Pacific Coast League home schedule includes 11 homestands and 32 weekend dates. Twelve fireworks nights are scheduled, including the club’s annual Red, White and BOOM Independence fireworks celebration on July 3 and every Saturday home game.

The 2015 season will be the Redbirds’ 18th year as the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Pacific Coast League. Game times and the 2015 promotional schedule will be released at a later date. Call 721-6000 or visit memphisredbirds.com for more information.

Memphian Walter Nominated to TVA Board

The Tennessee Valley Authority board would include two Memphians with the appointment of Ron Walter to the board.

President Barack Obama nominated Walter, the president and general manager of WREG-TV, to the board Thursday, Aug. 28.

If the U.S. Senate approves the nomination, Walter would join Memphian V. Lynn Evans, a certified public accountant, on the TVA board. She was appointed by President Obama in 2013.

Walter was recommended to the White House by U.S. Rep Steve Cohen.

Walter worked for Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, TVA’s largest customer, from 1980 to 1987 as assistant to the utility president and then as vice president of customer relations.

He went to work for WREG as director of marketing, production and client services in 1987 and held several positions – including vice president of government and public relations, vice president and station manager, and executive vice president and station manager – before becoming president and general manager in 2004.

Grizzlies Name Coach of D-League Team

The Memphis Grizzlies have selected Bob Donewald Jr. as head coach of its NBA Development League team, the Iowa Energy. Per team policy, terms of the deal, which is pending NBA approval, were not disclosed.

“Bob has a proven track record of player development and shares in the collaborative vision of the Memphis Grizzlies and Iowa Energy,” Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger said in a statement.

Donewald joins Iowa with more than two decades of coaching experience with eight different organizations throughout the world, most recently serving as head coach of the Chinese National Team (2010-12) and spending three seasons in the Chinese Basketball Association as head coach of the Shanghai Sharks (2009-11) and the Xinjiang Flying Tigers (2011).

In addition, Donewald has worked four NBA seasons, including three as an assistant coach under Paul Silas with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-04), New Orleans Hornets (2002-03) and Charlotte Hornets (2001-02). Before coaching in the NBA, Donewald spent five seasons as a head coach and general manager in the British Basketball League, leading his teams to the championship series on three occasions.

Tactical Magic Hires New Creative Services Director

Andi Crawford-Andrus has joined Tactical Magic as the branding agency’s director of creative services.

Before joining Tactical Magic, Crawford-Andrus worked for several local ad agencies, providing her creative expertise to support well-known brands like First Tennessee Bank and Smith & Nephew. She’s worked in creative advertising and branding in Memphis for nearly two decades and has won a handful of professional honors and distinctions from organizations such as the American Advertising Federation, the Medical Marketing Association and the National Agri-Marketing Association.

Consumer Sentiment Rises a Bit in August

U.S. consumer sentiment ticked up in August, driven by greater optimism about jobs, rising incomes, and increasing wealth. Yet the increase largely occurred among higher-income groups.

The University of Michigan said Friday its index of consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 from 81.8 in July. The August level is only slightly higher than it was a year ago.

Consumers have sent mixed signals in recent months. The Michigan index has fluctuated between 80 and 82.5 since December. But a measure of consumer confidence by the Conference Board rose this month to nearly a seven-year high.

And yet Americans cut back their spending in July, according to a government report Friday. Consumer spending slipped 0.1 percent last month, the first drop since January. The decline was driven by a drop in spending on autos, which took a breather after several months of strong sales.

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597